The Personal Parish for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

St Aloysius' Church, 233 Balaclava Road, Caulfield North, 3161


News and Announcements

14th January, 2018

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Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage

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Dear friends in Christ,

An important profession of faith in the immutable truths about marriage, signed by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and other Bishops, is available on our website, as well as in hard copy in the Church vestibule. I urge you to study this statement carefully. Below, we reproduce (with thanks to onepeterfive.com), a critique by Prof. Seifert of a recent “re-reading” of Humanae Vitae. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that prophetic encyclical; it would be surprising if there were not renewed attempts in 2018 to undermine the binding force of its authoritative teaching.

Fr Glen Tattersall PP

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Professor Seifert Comments on Fr. Chiodi’s “Re-Reading of Humanae Vitae”

Professor Father Maurizio Chiodi delivered last Dec. 14, 2017, at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, a speech entitled “Re-reading Humanae Vitae (1968) in light of Amoris Laetitia (2016)”. He is a new member of PAV, the Pontifical Academy for Life, founded by Pope John Paul II in order to explain and defend the truths the Church teaches about human life in Humanae Vitae and other documents. Nonetheless, Chiodi does not only rejects openly a central moral teaching of the Church on contraception, admirably stated in Humanae Vitae, namely that a wonderful and deep link exists between the conjugal loving union and procreation, such that any single contraceptive act that separates the unitive from the procreative meaning of the conjugal act is intrinsically wrong in any situation. Above and beyond his denial of this teaching, Chiodi asserts that contraception is even morally mandatory under certain circumstances. According to him, responsible parenthood can oblige a married couple to use artificial birth control.

This suggests an answer Fr. Chiodi gives to two of the famous five dubia of the four Cardinals. Chiodi’s implicit answer may be formulated thus: “Indeed, there are no human actions that are intrinsically wrong under all circumstances”.

Chiodi invokes Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia, as a new model and paradigm for moral theology that eliminates the notion (solemnly and magisterially laid down in Humanae Vitae, Familiaris Consortio, and Veritatis Splendor) that contraception is an intrinsically evil human act that is wrong anywhere and at any time. Chiodi adds, in radical and direct contradiction to the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church in Humanae Vitae, that there are “circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8 — that precisely for the sake of responsibility, require contraception.” When “natural methods are impossible or unfeasible, other forms of responsibility need to be found,” Fr. Chiodi argued.

Chiodi’s position constitutes an unequivocal defense of the consequentialist and proportionalist ethics that attacked Humanae Vitae from the first day of its publication on, and not only took issue with its teaching that contraception is intrinsically wrong, but claimed that there are no intrinsically evil acts at all; and that any human action is determined in its moral character solely by the proportion between its good and bad effects. This opinion was clearly and unambiguouslyrefuted and rejected by Veritatis Splendor.

Chiodi likewise proposes more general philosophical and ethical positions that are profoundly erroneous and totally destructive not only of the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, but also of the essence of morality, and in fact, of any truth and any Church Teaching: namely 1) a historical relativism, 2) a consensus theory of truth, and 3) situation ethics.

1. Saying that the norms of natural law “conserve the good and instruct in the way of good, but they are historical, “ Chiodi denies the perennial truth and validity of the norms that tell us that contraception and many other acts are intrinsically wrong, in a way that is not relative to, and dependent on, historically changing opinions, as if Humanae Vitae could have been true in 1968 but would no longer be so in 2018.

2. Besides this, Chiodi, while not directly claiming it, still strongly suggests that the fact that a large percentage of Catholic spouses practice contraception and do not accept the norms justifies silence about them, or even proves that these norms are no longer valid, as if majority consensus determined the truth.[1] With the same right, he could claim that we are justified no longer to speak of the first commandment to love God above everything else, or even that this norm is no longer valid because a majority of Catholics do not fulfill it, or that the commandment that forbids to give false witness against one’s neighbor is not valid any longer because most people lie and calumniate others.

3. Claiming that some “circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8 —precisely for the sake of responsibility, require contraception” (Chiodo, ibid.), Chiodo denies in fact directly the intrinsic wrongness of contraception magisterially taught by Paul VI and his predecessors and successors, and makes what is morally good or bad in the transmission of human life entirely dependent on concrete situations. Drawing out the lines of such a purely teleological or consequentialist proportionalist ethics of contraception, Chiodi suggests that quite in general no intrinsically wrong acts exist and that the moral quality of a human action can never be determined universally “by a general rule,” but depends on a proportion between good and bad consequences of human actions in concrete situations. Understood in this general way, the situation ethics Fr. Chiodi defends would also deny the intrinsic wrongness of abortion and euthanasia, and of many other acts listed in Veritatis Splendor as acts that are morally wrong under all circumstances and in all situations. It is worth noting that this opinion has nothing to do with blindness of conscience, lack of ethical knowledge, or personal imputability invoked so often by Rocco Buttiglione in the present debate. No, Chiodi implies an entirely objective “duty to contracept” in certain situations.

…….to be continued next week


Epiphany Water is now available (BYO containers) in the Church vestibule, together with chalk, blessed in honour of the Magi – Sts Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The chalk should be used to mark, above or near the main entrance to the home, the initials of the three Magi, and the new year of the Lord, thus:

20 + C M B + 18

This custom is a great witness to Our Lord, and an invocation that we – like the Magi – might seek Christ at all times during the coming year. Those whose homes have not yet been blessed, and would like to receive this blessing during Epiphanytide, are invited to contact the Secretary.

Christmas offering envelopes are now available in the vestibule and in the pews. Your offerings are for the support of the clergy who serve the Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman. Offerings should be placed in the first collection over the next few weeks. Thank you for your generosity.

Saturday Catechesis: adult and children’s catechesis will resume on Saturday, 3rd February, at 11 am.

Summer School in Latin – An intensive reading course in Medieval and Ecclesiastical Latin. This will be the 25th annual Hobart Latin Summer School! It is now taught under the auspices of the Dawson Centre. Some prior knowledge of Latin is a prerequisite, though a person with some background in another language can readily come up to the starting gate. Readings from some of the great and influential literature, poetry and prose, from antiquity to the dawn of the modern world. Venue: Hobart (venue to be determined, but a central location) 22nd – 26th January 2018, 9.00 am to 3.00 pm daily. Summer School in New Testament Greek - In association with the Verbum Domini Institute, this is an intensive course in the koine Greek of the New Testament, a continuation of last summer’s course that is also suitable for virtual beginners who are willing to undertake some preliminary work on the Greek alphabet. We shall read passages from the Gospels and from Christian literature of the apostolic age. Participants should purchase a copy of Gavin Betts, Complete New Testament Greek, from the Book Depository (A$32.65 posted) - Venue: Hobart, 35 Tower Road, New Town 29th January – 2nd February 2018, 9.00 am to 3.00 pm daily. Further information on both courses can be obtained at - dccdain@gmail.com

The Newman Parish Latin programme will recommence on Sunday, 4th February 2018, following Solemn Mass. Please contact the Parish Secretary with any inquiries, or to register.

Pastoral Council elections: the existing Pastoral Council of the Newman Parish having recently completed its two year term, nominations are now being received for a new Council. Nomination forms are available in the vestibule and online. Completed forms may be given to one of the Fathers, or sent to the Parish Secretary.

Planned giving: new sets of envelopes are now available for 2018. These can be collected from the vestibule after Sunday Masses (please don’t forget to indicate the number of your set of envelopes against your name on the form provided). Planned giving (for the support of the clergy and Parish) can be by regular electronic transfer, direct debit, or envelopes. If you have not already pledged regular support, please consider doing so by using the forms available in the vestibule, or on line (existing pledges can also be reviewed in the same way).

Newman Academy: we are continuing to work towards opening a school (ultimately teaching Years 5-12, and employing a classical curriculum). To enable us to move this project forward to readiness for registration, it will be necessary to find part time dedicated administrative staff. In order to be able to budget for this in 2018, we will need to find at least $30,000 in additional income. Those who are able and willing to make a dedicated contribution to this cause are invited to contact Fr Tattersall on a confidential basis. The Academy website provides more details of our vision for what we believe is a vital educational project: http://newmanacademy.org.au.



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